How Does an Audiologist Program Your Hearing Aids?
It's imperative that when you find out you need hearing aids, you have them fitted correctly. This is where your audiologist will be vital to you. Not only will they have diagnosed hearing loss or other issues with your hearing, but they can ensure that your hearing aid fitting is done correctly to the exact specifications that you need. If you don't get your hearing aids programmed by a certified audiologist, you risk having a device that doesn't quite fit your ears or your needs.
How are hearing aids programmed?
To start with, your audiologist will ensure that your hearing aids sit comfortably in or on your ears. They'll then use computer software to program the settings for your hearing aids according to your hearing loss. No two hearing aids on the market are the same. Audiologists see a variety of patients, perform thousands of hearing tests and work hard to ensure that your hearing is in the best possible shape. It's much better to have your hearing aids programmed to suit you rather than buying some that suit all. You wouldn't fit your glasses based on buying over the counter without a prescription: this is the same. Today, we have hearing aids that can help with noise and feedback reduction, and as part of the hearing aid fitting, your audiologist will use sound systems to simulate real noise from the outside and adjust the hearing aids based on real-time feedback. It helps your audiologist to understand how you react to noise.
Hearing aid programming
As it's possible to arrange for your hearing aids to be customized to your needs, your audiologist will measure your ear and map noise situations in which you will be involved. It helps them to understand how your ears work, enabling them to make the best possible decision for your hearing aids. Audiologists have all the right access to hearing aid components to ensure that you get the best possible outcome from your hearing aid fitting. There are real-ear probe microphones used, and these pick up all the sounds that hit your eardrum in real time. Your audiologist can use this information to program your hearing aids accurately and ensure that you get the right sound level. You will also have visible speech mapping tests done; these can see how sounds hit the eardrum. They then work to see how audio is processed.
Personalization is key
Most of the older hearing aids on the market were easy to use and could be adjusted simply. We now use hearing aids that are more complex and powerful. This means that there is going to be differing needs for each person to match. This makes personalization a little more complicated. Adjustments that happen on an ongoing basis by your audiologist will ensure that you stay up to date of what you need. Your audiologist needs to take time evaluating what you need in different listening situations. In some circumstances, digital hearing aids are going to be the best option. With that in mind, if you have an older model, it's worth a discussion with your audiologist.
What can my audiologist adjust to my hearing aids?
It's essential that you feel comfortable with your hearing aids, and this includes filtering out as much of the noise as possible. Your audiologist has to take a lot into account when they program your hearing aid, such as:
- Maximum power output
- Compression ratios
- Intensity levels
Once you are happy with the sound you get from your hearing aid, you will be taught how to change the battery, care for your hearing aid and clean them correctly to ensure that they are in the best possible condition for use. You'll then be sent away to try out your new hearing aids at home; which is so exciting!
The first fitting and programming of your hearing aids will take around an hour, and in that time, you'll learn all about how your hearing aids work for you and what you can do to ensure that you keep them in the best possible condition. The best thing that you can do if you have questions about your hearing or your devices is to learn more about Hearing Solution Center by calling 704-912-4422.